QWAFL: Washout Round (Round 3) Preview




Saturday July 25, 4:45pm Leyshon Park


They might be sitting at near opposite ends of the ladder, but this Saturday’s clash between Yeronga and UQ is shaping up to be a very intriguing battle.

Another loss against Coolangatta last week all but ended Yeronga’s chances at a top two finish this season, and the Devils are visibly frustrated.

On the other hand, UQ have been slowly chipping away this season and nearly pulled off the upset of the year against Zillmere last weekend in a nerve wracking 2-point loss.

One of Yeronga’s biggest problems this season has been their slow starts to games, which is something Devils coach, Scott Stephens wants to see rectified.

“There have only been maybe two or three starts this season that we have been happy with, other than that we have been pretty poor,” Stephens said.

“We’ve discussed our starts and it is something we want to improve on, we can’t switch on half way or three quarters into the game and expect to win.

“It isn’t panic stations yet and there is plenty of time to get our starts right, but as a group we know where we are at and we have to improve.”

Last time these two sides met in round 8, Yeronga ran out comfortable 53-point winners, but Stephens is adamant that scoreline means nothing going into this Saturday.

“UQ are definitely one of those sides that are on the improve and if we won’t play our best against them we could be caught napping and lose total control,” Stephens said.

“Last time we played them I think we were a little inaccurate and a bit flat, so I will be looking for improvement in those areas from the girls.

“We are also going to have to keep an eye out for Bree Koenen, she can be really damaging, but if our structures hold up we should be able to manage her.”

It’s been a slow burn in 2015 for UQ, but with a solid performance against Zillmere last week and numbers back, Red Lionesses coach, Michael Swann, is hoping for a strong back half of the season.

“We’ve had some tough patches this season, but with university starting back and good numbers at training I think we can have a good run through the back half of this year,” Swann said.

“We set the standard early last week by attacking the footy and spreading from the contest, and if we bring those two things this week I think we can challenge a side like Yeronga.

“We implement a simple sort of game plan that puts emphasis on the basics, but the basics are what we want to underpin all our performances.”

Yeronga’s big three Zanchetta, Bates and Thomas will lineup this week after missing last round through state duties, but Swann is adamant that the focus will not be concerned with danger players.

“Like all the other weeks, we will be focusing on what we are doing as a team, we can’t spend too much time worrying about what others are doing, we will end up playing negative football,” Swann said.

“This week we just need to make the most of our opportunities up forward and get the most out of our ball movement.”

An upset win for UQ in this clash would give the Red Lionesses a shot at playing finals this season with Griffith Moorooka and Wilston Grange to come in the next fortnight.



Saturday July 25, 4:45pm Alexander Park


Top of the table Coolangatta travel to Alexander Park this Saturday to take on bottom placed, Griffith Moorooka, in what will likely be a lopsided battle.

The Bluebirds have been superb this season, suffering just one loss on their way to a formidable 10-1 record.

In contrast, the Reds have failed to taste victory in 2015, suffering a string of big losses in a relatively forgetful season.

Despite the gap in talent between the two sides, Coolangatta coach, Aaron Russell, insists that the Bluebirds approach and preparation for the contest won’t change.

“We are getting towards the business end of the season, which means we can’t approach any game different to what we normally would physically or mentally,” Russell said.

“Obviously there might be a few things we try differently, but that is no different to any other week, we have to find out what game style works most effectively for us and this is another opportunity.”

Since suffering their only loss of the season against Coorparoo in round 9, Coolangatta have won four on the trot, and alongside the Navy Roos look primed for a big September.

The Bluebirds haven’t had it all their way however; injuries and state commitments have made it a selection headache for Russell in previous weeks, and that trend looks set to continue.

“We are going to be forced to rest a couple again this weekend and another seven or eight girls are out with other commitments,” Russell said.

“It’s tough in a way, but it’s a good chance for others to put their hand up and make the senior girls fight for their spot in the team.

“Girls like Ebony Zuber and Alicia Murray have played great in the last few weeks and if some of the other girls share the footy and keep the ball moving I’ll be really happy.”

Griffith Moorooka showed signs of improvement in a positive first half against Wilston Grange in round 12, but last weeks effort against Coorparoo wasn’t quite up to scratch.

“It was probably our worst performance in about five or six weeks to be honest,” Reds coach, Glenn Hogetts said.

“It’s been a really long year for us and it’s been quite disappointing results wise, but we are capable of putting in better efforts.”

Despite Moorooka’s lack of scoreboard success in 2015, Hogetts applauded his players for their approach to football this season.

“The girls are always really happy and chirping, even at this stage of the year, which is really good to see,” Hogetts said.

“All that I can ask of them is to enjoy their footy and put in 100% effort for four quarters, and for most of the season they have done that, so I can’t fault them.”



Sunday July 26, 2:30pm Giffin Park


Not many teams can lose their six best players and still win by more than 150 points, but that’s what makes Coorparoo so good.

The Navy Roos smashed the struggling Griffith Moorooka by 174-points last week at Giffin Park despite missing half a dozen of their state guns.

And it was no fluke either. In the two rounds prior to last Sunday’s dominance, the Navy Roos were without captain Emma Zielke and a host of regulars, but still had a combined winning margin of 115-points.

Coorparoo’s seemingly endless depth has been a big reason behind their success in 2015, and Navy Roos coach, Bernie Cantrell, couldn’t be prouder of his new recruits.

“The amount of girls that have put their hands up in the state girls absence has been amazing,” Cantrell said.

“We have had a lot of girls play some really good games in the last few weeks and prove that they can fit into our team structures.

“It’s been a big help for me to have the quality of girls I do at my disposal, and these girls are sending a message to the senior group that if they don’t perform they can definitely step up.”

The Navy Roos have all but locked away a spot in September action after a scintillating 10-1 start, but Cantrell is wary of the Gorillas and is warning his group to be on guard.

“They are a really physical side who in my mind are underestimated a bit, so I want the girls to go out there and be switched on and have the right attitude,” Cantrell said.

“I think if we have that attitude and apply the same pressure on them like we did last time, we should come away with a win.”

Sitting in fourth with a 5-5 record, Wilston Grange are locked in a tough battle for the last finals spot with Zillmere, which means every win counts.

Despite the Gorillas ability to shutdown teams with their physical style and high tackling pressure, Wilston Grange coach, Ron Kemp, was blunt about this weekend’s clash.

“I’m massively down on personnel again due to a whole range of reasons and all I can ask from the girls this week is to try and shutdown Coorparoo as best they can,” Kemp said.

“I don’t have my normal centre half-forward, ruck, wingers or back-flank at my disposal this week, so it’s going to be tough going without firepower in those key positions.

“Coorparoo are a really skilful side and have about ten capable state players, so we will just have to focus really hard on shutting them down and playing accountable football.”

The likes of Zielke, Sexton and Hunt pose a huge threat this weekend, but Kemp is adamant that accountable, team football is the only option on Sunday.

“We can’t focus on targeting players otherwise we will get lost out there,” Kemp said.

“If we play accountable football, disrupt their run and play on our terms, we can shut them down, but it has to be done as a team.”

By Grant Hitzman – @granthitzman


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